Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya say they make documentary films because they are driven by a sense of wonderment. They are fascinated by why people do what they do, and so they seek to tell stories through the everyday lives of people. They document not 'fact', but the emotional journeys of individuals. In the award-winning Cinema Travellers, they follow "a benevolent showman, a shrewd exhibitor and a maverick projector mechanic [who] bear a beautiful burden – to keep the last traveling cinemas of the world running." In Searching for Saraswati, they follow believers and sceptics, investigating the nature of faith and belief and how we all want to believe.
We are delighted to invite Shirley – filmmaker – and – Amit – photographer and filmmaker – to Mumbai Local to share with us their journey of making documentary films. With them, we will examine the nature and purpose of the documentary film, and explore fascinating ways of looking at the world, understanding our own existence by journeying through the lives of others.
Look forward to an evening of finding magic in the mundane, of questions and seeking, of philosophy and wonder emerging from the everyday lives of ordinary-extraordinary people. Look forward also to revelling in the film excerpts they will certainly share.
This session is curated by Ranjit Hoskote at Kitab Khana – 3rd Fri, 5:30 pm Somaiya Bhavan, Ground Floor, 45/47 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Flora Fountain, Fort.
RSVP for this session begins on Tuesday, 18th December 2018.
Here's a sneak peek at Shirley and Abraham's professional life:
Shirley Abraham is a Cannes prize-winning documentary filmmaker. Her work is supported by the Sundance Institute, MacArthur Foundation, New York Times, IDFA Bertha Fund, Bertha Foundation, BBC, Filmmaker Fund, Catapult Film Fund and Asian Network of Documentary. She has been a fellow of Sundance Labs, Cluster of Excellence Heidelberg, TasveerGhar, India Foundation for the Arts and Goethe-Institute.
Amit Madheshiya is a Cannes prize-winning filmmaker and World Press Photo winning photographer. His work is supported by the Sundance Institute, New York Times, MacArthur Foundation, IDFA Bertha Fund, Bertha Foundation, Goethe-Institut, India Foundation for the Arts, National Foundation of India, Arts Council of England and the University of Heidelberg.
The Cinema Travellers is the debut feature of Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya. The film premiered as an Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival 2016, to a standing ovation. It won the Special Jury Prize for L'Oeil d'Or: Le Prix du documentaire. The film continues to have a prestigious festival run playing a hundred and twenty film festivals worldwide. It is the first Indian documentary to have achieved the rare festival trifecta of Cannes, Toronto and New York Film Festival. The film has won nineteen awards, including the National Film Award in India.
Shirley and Amit's recent film is Searching for Saraswati, India's first Op-Doc for the New York Times.